For American chess aficionados, lopsided defeats in three US vs USSR team matches in less than a decade after the Second World War, was an understandably painful blow.
But there was unexpected compensation.
The Russians and Soviets had demonstrated in these matches a new brand of chess, largely of their own creation, greatly enriching the game.
The new approach had been fully embodied in the dynamic ideas and play of Mikhail Chigorin (1850-1908). His legacy was then more fully developed in the play of post-war Soviet grandmasters, especially Mikhail Botvinnik.
Ironically, spurred by their example, the American Bobby Fischer was able to out-soviet the Soviets. In a word, he beat them at their own game.
Following Chigorin's lead, Bobby questioned existing opening dogma as no previous or contemporary grandmaster had ever done, always striving to discover new wines in old bottles.
He also developed a dynamic style which gave him opportunities to play for a win with both the Black and White pieces. In almost every instance, he spurned perfunctory draws or, for that matter, most draws of any kind.
Chigorin, if alive, would perhaps have proudly claimed him as his foremost disciple.
Not surprisingly, Bobby devoured any Soviet publications - books and magazines - that he could lay his hands on.Shelby Lyman, Basic Chess Features